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What do your parents think? | New Tattoo Care


I came across an article recently in The Guardian written by a mother who was heartbroken about her son getting a tattoo. This got me thinking, I understand that there are still people out there who don’t approve or like tattoos, but I still find it difficult to comprehend. Now as I have said before my mum wasn’t exactly a fan of tattoos when I first started getting them, she has since changed her attitude after learning more about them and now has tattoos herself. There were a few things that stood out to me in this article, some things that the mother said that I wanted to talk about, something that the son I think could have done differently and attitudes to tattoos from our parents. “What do your parents think?” is such a common question for heavily tattooed people so let’s take that apart a little bit. We talk about new tattoo care here but what about the people they care about and their impressions of our tattoos?

Your body, your choice!

I want to preface this whole post with this sentiment. I know people who would never get a tattoo because of what their parents or someone else in their life would think. I really don’t think this is an idea, as nice as it is that you care for the person enough to not want to hurt their feelings, all it will really do is create resentment between you that you are missing out on something you want for their sake, even though you getting tattoo wouldn’t really alter their life in any way. I can understand why someone might do this though, the mother in the article spoke about being grief stricken about it, which seemed like an overreaction to me, and the mother even admits she was being unreasonable about it. It seemed to come down in the end to her feeling as though her son didn’t need her anymore.

No Secrets!

The mother felt this way because he had gotten this tattoo and not told her until after he had gotten it. This was a mistake on the sons part in my opinion, going on personal experience I hid my first couple of tattoos from my mum because I was afraid of what she was going to say and also I didn’t want her to talk me out of it. The mother relates that in the article, that her son made the decision and went through with it without even consulting her making her feel as though her feelings meant nothing as she had asked him many times not to get a tattoo. Now I don’t think that he should have changed his mind about getting it based on her feelings but considering them enough to say “Look mum, I know you don’t like them but I really want a tattoo so I’m getting one” might have saved some of her feelings of abandonment.


Most of the time a parent who disapproves of tattoos will come to accept that you have them, they still won’t approve or like them, but they will accept it. Acceptance is a two way street though so if you have a parent that thoroughly hates your tattoos you have to accept that will never like them or appreciate the concept of tattoos. Some of us are lucky enough to have parents that are enthusiastic about our tattoos and/or are tattooed themselves, but for those that aren’t there will be some element of hurt to get over, even though it seems like a trivial thing, parents inevitably feel some semblance of ownership over your body, as they cared for it while you were growing up. You just have to be determined to weather the storm.

What did your parents say about your tattoos? Do you think I have got anything wrong? Let us know in the comments! If you are looking for the more technical side of new tattoo care you can find our article on that here!

Love Katy…


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  • Katy Jackson